In 2020, only 47% of Americans said that they belonged to a church, mosque, or synagogue. That’s down from 70% in 1999.
That might seem like depressing news for your church. There are still 53% of people who don’t belong to a church. There are opportunities to reach these people if you’re interested in growing a church.
What is the best way to grow a church congregation? Keep reading to discover several tips that will help your congregation grow and thrive.
1. Set Goals for Growing a Church
Church leaders have to be clear about why they want to grow the church congregation. Yes, it’s one of the signs of a healthy church, but there may be other reasons as well.
For instance, you might want to bring more families into the church to grow the youth ministry. Church leaders might have financial incentives to grow the church.
Now set strong goals for your church. These need to be clear and concise. How many new people would you like to have at services each week? How would you like them to participate in the church?
These questions help you and your leadership team develop goals.
2. Create a Mission and Vision for the Church
You need to be able to convey what the church does and how it serves the larger community. This is the mission and vision of the church.
This is an opportunity to understand the people who actively seek a church to belong to and match your mission with their needs.
You can tap into the population that is looking for programming for kids and teens, volunteer opportunities, and an active community.
Make it clear what you offer congregants. For some, they just moved into town and they’re looking for a church community that’s active and engaged.
Some focus on the types of services offered or ministries. For instance, a church might have a pilgrimage ministry alongside youth and adult learning ministries.
3. Go Digital
Are you behind the times? Technology can give your church a chance to shine.
First of all, you need a website for your church. This should tell people what the church is about, times of services, upcoming events, and details about different ministries.
Your church needs to be listed in search engines. Create listings in Google My Business and Bing Places. This ensures that people who look for churches online find your church.
Technology helps you manage your church, too. Management software for churches is a comprehensive tool that organizes donations, contacts, visitors, and communications.
4. Ask Congregants to Bring People to Church
This seems painfully obvious, but many pastors miss the opportunity to ask congregants to invite others to church. A simple reminder during church services is a great way to ask.
Think beyond inviting people to Sunday service. Are there music events coming up at the church? You can have congregants invite people they know to those and other events.
Church leaders can also personally reach out to congregants. Contact people over the phone or via email and ask them if they can commit to bringing one person to a service or event in the next month.
5. Create Lay Leaders
As a pastor, you’re already stretched in terms of time and energy. Even with full-time staff members, you can’t do everything.
That’s why it’s imperative to call on others in the congregation to step up and help grow the church. You can create committees and assign people to take on some of the tasks.
For instance, you can have congregants who regularly attend services serve as a welcoming committee of sorts. When they see a new person at church, they introduce themselves and welcome the new person to the church.
They’re available for questions and they immediately make someone feel at ease. There are a couple of ways to take the next steps with someone new.
The welcoming person can get the contact email. The pastor of the church can then contact the new person and invite them for coffee.
Gift bags with promotional items such as mugs and pens are appreciated as well.
6. Establish Groups for Connection and Learning
There are so many creative ways to get your congregants engaged in the church community. These groups are the key to attract new congregants and growing a church.
You probably don’t want to invest too much time in small groups because they only attract a dozen or so people if you’re lucky.
That’s precisely why you want to have small groups. You can get people involved in the church more quickly and you create greater levels of intimacy among congregants.
The community aspect is just as important as Sunday service. You can do these small groups on a quarterly basis on a weeknight and before or after Sunday service.
What kind of groups can you have? Ones that focus on your main ministries to start with. You can have a book club, an in-depth study of one of the gospels, and community awareness lectures.
Simple Tips for Growing a Church Congregation
Growing a church seems hard because church membership is on the decline. However, there are still plenty of people searching for something beyond themselves.
They long for connection and community. They can get those needs met through your church. The tips for growing a church in this article help you do simple things to grow your congregation.
Leverage the power of your congregation. They can bring people to services and events. They can also serve as the welcoming committee.
Would you like more marketing and management tips you can apply to your church? Visit the home page of this site for more helpful articles.